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Tragedy, sympathy and broken hearts: 10 social media hoaxes

Published: Friday, Jan. 18 2013 4:22 p.m. MST

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The short and tragic life of Notre Dame football player Manti Te'o's girlfriend Lennay Kekua, who was nearly killed in a car accident in California before dying of leukemia, was missing one important detail when it made headlines in September — Kekua didn't exist.

After Deadspin broke the news that Kekua was fake, the school and Te'o said he had been the victim of a hoax sometimes known as "catfishing."

In this type of hoax, a "catfish" creates a fake identity and uses that identity to interact with others.

A new report from ESPN Thursday said that a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo called a friend in December to admit to duping Te'o, and that Tuiasosopo has pulled the hoax before.

Here's a look at other recent social media hoaxes.
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